Home / Spring 2013 / 2013-01-17 / Blame the people, not the firearms

Blame the people, not the firearms

In the aftermath of the recent mass shootings across the U.S, a wave of unrest has swept through U.S citizens. People are worried about the President’s proposed bill for laws regulating firearm purchase and ownership.

One side of the argument against gun laws claim that new gun laws will keep everyone helpless leaving people unable to protect themselves, while the other battles incessantly for keeping guns out of the wrong hands. It’s understandable that we’re all worried for our safety, but arguing with the threat of Armageddon is not going to help.

Adam Lanza, the infamous villain of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., sent our country into chaos with his murder of 27 children and adults, including himself. Within hours of the attack, social networking sites were flooded with people arguing about why he did it, and questioning his gun access.

Many of us here at the Spectator and at VSU are Georgia natives. We hail from an outdoorsy, recreation-based state where guns and hunting are a point of pride. We’ll admit it- southerners like their guns! It does not, however, mean that every one of us with a hunting rifle is going to use it to take innocent lives. The problem is not the guns, it’s the people. Gun regulations are designed to keep our weapons in check, and there are many places where they do just that. Adding more regulations may be a good solution or a bad one, but there is no possible way that any one law or decision will remove all violence from a society. Haven’t we all heard that there is no such thing as perfection?

We call your attention to the people. Adam Lanza is suspected of suffering from some form of autism, which may or may not have anything to do with his motivation to murder. James Holmes, the villain of the Aurora movie theater shooting in July, was mentally unstable and possibly abusing prescription medication. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, were bullying victims in psychological treatment. They were well-known for their love of violence in writing and video games. Seung-Hui Cho, known for the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, was diagnosed as mentally unstable and in treatment at the time of his attack. While we are hesitant to point fingers at the system, it is plausible to believe that these vicious attacks could have been prevented not by restricting the guns, but by restricting the people.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 57 million people in America suffer from mental illness. Additionally, 45 percent of those suffer from multiple disorders. That’s 20 percent of our total population. 57 million people who count on the United States government and its health facilities to help them. It is truly heartbreaking to see Americans only hours after the loss of 28 lives posting ridiculous Facebook statuses and Twitter posts about how the president better not take their guns away. We are disgusted by the response of our citizens. Twenty elementary school children dead due to one man’s instability, and all we can do is point fingers at the other side and squabble. Hear this, America- we still see you, we still hear you. Stop embarrassing us all, and look at the real problem. Adam Lanza’s firearm didn’t walk into a school and open fire, Adam Lanza did. If only our system had helped him before it was too late.

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